For the 12,107 that braved the horrendous interstates en route to downtown, the Nashville Predators put up a fight against one of the Eastern Conference’s best but, in the end, lost 4-3.
The Preds – who hadn’t lost back-to-back games in regulation all year long until this stretch – are in the midst of a five-game losing streak.
“It’s hard to believe,” Mike Ribeiro said. “I think it’s a good test now that we are in it and in this situation to battle out of this. No one said it was going to be an easy season and now it’s time to grind it out.”
“Our guys have done an excellent job of staying tight as a group,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “I think it’s important to stay together right now.”
John Tavares and Anders Lee put the Islanders up 2-0 in the first but, just when you thought the Preds would head into the locker room down by two, Colin Wilson buried his 20th of the year in the final seconds to make it 2-1.
While certainly a positive to only be down by a goal, playing from behind is not a habit Nashville wants to continue. It was the 10th consecutive game the Predators have allowed the first goal and the fourth consecutive to allow the first two.
“We need to stop getting down in these games,” Wilson said. “We keep starting off behind and then we have to battle back. We keep having great efforts but we need to start to get those goals [our opponents are getting].”
Fast forward to the third and Nick Leddy extended the New York lead. But then the Predators notched two goals in 31 seconds to tie the game 3-3. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep the Isles off the board and wound up losing their fifth in a row.
Nashville will try to get back on the winning side of things when they host the Winnipeg Jets this weekend.
“A lot of times you just need that first win to get back on track,” Ribeiro said. “It’ll be important to refocus here and get ready for Saturday.”
Puck drops at 6:00pm Central.
MY THREE STARS (as voted on with 5:16 remaining in regulation):
1. John Tavares (NYI)
2. Jaroslav Halak (NYI)
3. Nick Leddy (NYI)
THE THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
1. John Tavares (NYI)
2. Nick Leddy (NYI)
3. Craig Smith (NSH)
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover // TheGameNashville.com